IFTTT can now trigger actions based on your location

By , Dec 12, 2013

IFTTT 1.3 for iOS (iOS Location Channel teaser 001)

The increasingly popular iPhone automation app, IFTT, (stands for IF This Then That) has received a notable little update today which enables iOS Location Recipes, allowing you to build recipes that trigger various actions based on your device’s GPS location.

The new iOS Location channel was created to allow apps and websites to use information from cellular, Wi-Fi and GPS networks, in addition to iBeacons, to determine your approximate location. This opens up some interesting and really useful possibilities.

For instance, you could program IFTTT to turn off lights when you get home, via the built-in support for the Philips Hue smart light bulb. Or, why not automate social announcements when you’re at a not-to-be-missed party? And how about simply notifying your family about your whereabouts as you move about the day?

Like with other IFTTT Recipes, possibilities are virtually endless and only limited by your imagination. Before taking advantage of the iOS Location channel, you’ll first need to approve it either within the app or at the IFTTT website.

Enabling the iOS Location channel also approves the app to use the iOS 7 Background App Refresh feature and of course adds it as an item in Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

IFTTT 1.3 for iOS (iOS Location channel, iPhone screenshot 002)IFTTT 1.3 for iOS (iOS Location channel, iPhone screenshot 003)

Once that’s taken care of, you can start using location triggers with some of your favorite channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare and others. These social sources have been updated to support location, allowing you to create triggers based on, for example, when you check-in on Foursquare in an area or when Instagram photos are taken at a given location.

When creating a recipe which uses location, you can choose to make it trigger on entrance, on exit or both. The geofencing area is defined on a map where you can specify the size of the trigger’s radius.

IFTTT 1.3 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 005)

As you can see on the screenshots below, Location Triggers can be really powerful. Why not DM Mom when you’re nearly home for dinner, for example? Or, you could tell IFTTT to email you a map of the subway when your arrive at a certain location.

IFTTT 1.3 for iOS (Location recipes 001)

IFTTT could also text you when a friend is in the neighborhood – perfect for stalking!

IFTTT 1.3 for iOS (Location recipes 002)

You can program IFTTT to do just about anything based on your geographical location, especially with support for automated posting from Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter based on geofencing. And if you’re an Instagram user, you could tell IFTTT to collect all Instagrams taken at a specific area – perfect for weddings and sporting events.

I wish IFTTT supported a GET request action for web services, which could plug the service into all kinds of web apps to open up a whole new world of possibilities.

IFTTT 1.3 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 006)

Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch chatted with IFTTT CEO Linden Tibbets and Director of Mobile Devin Foley about the updates, with the two sharing nice Recipe ideas:

Foley mentions that he set up a ‘dance party’ recipe to trigger his Phillips Hue lights to color cycle when he gets close to his house, a fun way to let his son know that dad is home.

Tibbets notes a recent wedding that he attended where he set up an area alert that pulled in all public Instagram photos shot during the event and dropped them into his Dropbox — creating a photographic archive of the event that he could then share with the group.

Location will be built into more channels over time.

More importantly, an Android version is being in the works and likely arriving early next year, the two men added. According to The Next Web, users have created a whopping seven million IFTTT Recipes, with six to eight million triggers going off on a daily basis.

Last but not least, the team is working on an IFTTT developer platform, due next year, that will make it possible to integrate with “anything that will connect over the Internet”.

In addition to the new iOS Location Recipes and bug fixes, IFTTT 1.3 lets you connect your profile to social accounts (useful for hassle-free updating of your IFTTT account information), favorite Recipes (tap the heart icon on any Recipe page), search for Channels by name and search through your own or community Recipes.

Search couldn’t have come sooner as scrolling through the increasingly growing list of Recipes and Channels gets old fast.

Grab IFTTT free in the App Store.

The download comes in at 17.1MB and requires an iOS 6.0 device or later, though the app unfortunately doesn’t have the native iPad interface, yet.

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • RarestName

    “And how about simply notifying your family about your whereabouts as you move about the day?”

    Find My Friends.

    • DrPeril

      Unless your family uses Android or [grumble] Blackberry…

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        You might as well have just said “Unless your family uses a non-iOS device”. As great as Find My Friends is certain Apple apps like this (and FaceTime, iMessage, etc) should be cross-platform.

      • DrPeril

        Yeah, but then I don’t get to rip on Blackberry. Also, FT and iMessages would be great universal Apps but I understand Apple wanting it to be device dependant, it makes a great selling point (having just had the “If I get an Apple I can FaceTime with my family right?” talk with a friend).

      • RarestName

        Foursquare should suffice :)

        I’m currently looking for an alternative on Android that doesn’t constantly search for the device’s current location.

  • Arthur Geron

    Looks awesome, I think iPhone apps are getting better and better, cydia doesn’t even look so cool for me anymore.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Despite the fact that as of the time I write this you have two down-votes I agree with you and wonder what @saurik is going to do. As far as I know Cydia is basically a package manager built on top of a web interface so changing Cydia should not be difficult. I for one would like to see a new interface and perhaps an interface that is easy to theme using Winterboard for example…

      • Arthur Geron

        Yeah, I mean, iOS was always trying to get better at each version, and cydia basically stayed the same, except for the new tweaks, now it’s the time where iOS has a lot of fuctions that we could only find in cydia apps.

        There are also several apps on AppStore that do what cydia apps used to do but with a beautifull interface..

        I had to pay 6.99 for a decent notification tweak on cydia, now I don’t have to anymore.

        I had to install sbsettings(or ncsettings) before, which wasn’t that beautifull and would consume memory, I don’t have to anymore.

        I had to pay to have my apps updated automatically, I don’t have to anymore.

        I had to install a memory consuming tweak called infinifolders (paid), I don’t have to anymore..

        There is so much in this OS I can’t even list here… I hope you guys understand me better now.

      • RarestName

        Activator is still a good reason for jailbreaking. They have this Assistive Touch but Activator is still way superior:

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        There’s plenty of reasons to jailbreak XYZ still. I don’t think jailbreaking is obsolete just yet…

      • DrPeril

        Completely agree.

        I was worried about missing my tweaks when I upgraded to iOS7 but now that it’s been… however long… I hardly think about it anymore.

        I use Boxer for mail so I don’t need EmailEnhancer anymore (Boxer has better GMail integration anyway).

        Notifications, meh. SBSettings, Meh. Switcher tweaks, meh. FolderEnhancer, meh. Updates, meh. The list goes on, but I’ve long ago forgotten half of it.

        Meanwhile Cydia rots on iOS 6.x and still very much looks like it was designed by a Linux developer (yeah, I know you’re not all that way, still…). It should be prettier and it should be a smoother experience — for example, it never once saved my Google login information and more than once wrecked my install because of tweak conflicts. The open dev model that Cydia uses has its merits, but I’d rather not have to worry about bad or conflicting code. A little QC goes a long way, eh Brightest Flashlight Free users ;)

        Cydia is ugly and unfriendly, and iOS keeps getting better. Shrug.

  • Gucciipad

    Awesome I can turn on my wemo switch. When I get close to my house.

  • Matt Ashcraft

    Is there any possibility to notify another person via SMS or another form when using iOS location?

    • post2gary

      I have the same issue. If I want to notify my partner when I have arrived at work, the recipe only gives me the option to SMS myself – which is not what I want. Any thoughts please?

      • pgBnax

        Google: ifttt send sms to spouse location
        This will yield several ifttt recipes doing what you desire. You can change the SMS number by modifying the recipe in many of those listed, so you should hit a bingo fairly quickly. Just go thru em one by one til ya hit joy. (Some are easier to modify than others.)

      • post2gary

        Hi thanks for the reply. I’m reading on Google that SMS is not a service available to people outside of the US. I tried deactivating the SMS channel but now can reconnect

      • pgBnax

        More than one way to accomplish your goal. Perhaps using the email or gmail channel, for the “action” (that) instead of SMS?

        I just checked. At ifttt, choose browse, then enter this in search box: location email. Plenty of related recipes.

      • post2gary

        *cannot reconnect

      • post2gary

        Would be good if WhatsApp was a channel. I’m sure the IFTTT team would support that. My partner doesn’t read emails instantly in the same way as SMS, email normally requires the user to enable a ‘push’ to get email then go into the Account. SMS or WhatsApp just appear instantly on the screen

  • Yujin

    Wonder how it will affect battery

    • pgBnax

      I’ve had no problems, but to play it safe, when I’m out & about, I always have one of those deck-of-cards sized external battery packs with me or in the car. Prevents massive cuss sessions. ;-)

      (Note: I’m also using a Pebble SmartWatch. Since I no longer have to open the phone to investigate individual notifications, that could explain why my battery life remains a friend, despite the constant “on” re location awareness. Not positive, but seems logical.)

  • Steve Norris

    If you want to be able to do get requests… just search for: webhooks with ifttt marcus povey